More jail cells…

  July 18, 2014

 Penal Field – Justin Piché
A Contradictory and Finishing State – Explaining Recent Prison Capacity Expansion in Canada’s Provinces and Territories 

A little earlier in the tough-on-crime debates the question of double bunking and building more jail cells was on the agenda.  The subject of the capacity of jails has since been eclipsed.  Here is an extensive and comprehensive commentary on what has happened in the interval, what the rational and process of adding additional capacity is, and where we are going in the prison and remand issues, and the systemic implications for the institutions themselves.  (The article includes a large number of bibliographical references as well.)  –  Aly Thomson
Aboriginal leaders renew calls for public inquiry into missing women  

The RCMP has identified almost 1100 Aboriginal women missing and many are presumed or known to have been murdered.  Aboriginal leaders and others have been calling for commission or public inquiry on how and why.  At the Assembly of First Nations meeting in Halifax the leaders are renewing the call for solutions to the perplexing issues around such large numbers of missing women.  Related article: Huffington Post (Canada)  –  Canadian Press    Inaction Over Missing, Murdered Aboriginal Women Prompt Leaders to Mull Legal Action

 Leader-Post – Regina  – Terrence McEachern
Police incidents raise mental health concerns

This article identifies the problems at the local level when trying to deal with mental health issues without the necessary resources.  Sharon Lyons, president of the board of directors for the CMHA’s Regina branch, says:  “We don’t have the community resources for people and yet we expect them to live in the community…we have some community resources but we don’t have enough to fill the demand. There is a huge demand.”   The case of Daryl Don Marr, 47, charged with assault with a weapon and possession of a weapon dangerous to the public regarding an alleged stabbing incident illustrates the frustration of trying to cope without sufficient resources.   Related article:  Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)  – Ontario   Legal Aid Ontario supports development of mental health disabilities and addictions intake tool   Related article: CMHA-Ontario    Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Team – a first for Ontario

 Toronto Star – Editorial (July 17, 2014)
Police chiefs are right to call for more protection of people’s privacy 

Ontario police departments have been routinely disclosing non-conviction information when asked for police checks, resulting in the release of all sorts of information from 911 calls for mental health interventions to unproven allegations to being mentioned in investigation records.  Jobs, volunteering and border crossing are all at risk for a lot of people who don’t know there is a problem until immersed in the disclosures.   Related article:  Press Release –  Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police Guideline for Police Checks    Related article: Toronto Star – Patty Winsa and Robert Cribb  Toronto woman stunned by police revelation in background check

Mata Website (US)

This site tries to gather links to juvenile restorative justice efforts, blogs, reports, etc.  It includes efforts around courts, schools and community and it brings material from various geographic sites.  MATAWEBSITE.MEXIMAS.COM

 National Post – Robyn Urback
Emma Czornobaj, who caused a fatal collision by stopping for ducks, should not go to prison

There are times when no matter how you view the criminal justice system there is a case that recognizes the impotency of the law to confront the issues involved.  This case from Quebec clearly falls into that category so people are wondering how to derail the assumption that prison is inevitable and the only recourse.  The author touches on punishment and deterrence as well but realizes that there has already been a lot of those two and even relatives of the victims do not want more.

 Globe and Mail – Canadian Press
Nova Scotia teen banned from social-media sites for 21 months 

A Sydney 17 year old convicted of multiple charges including assault, uttering threats and criminal harassment will be under house arrest for 6 months and is banned from social media for 21 months.  This is the first case involving the social media prohibition, under his own name or an alias, as part of the sentence and the sentence supervisor will have access to all the passwords the teen has.